Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bench Mob: Upgrade

The fan base of the Chicago Bulls made a huge deal about their "Bench Mob" last year like it was the best bench in the league.  It wasn't.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best, either.  This year, it still probably won't be the best, but it's a lot better than last year.

They got Kirk Hinrich back.  I thought it was dumb when they traded him away before, especially since they used the cap space it freed up to get Carlos Boozer.  Maybe their plan all along was to get Hinrich back for a lot cheaper, but Boozer is going to have to do a lot better to make his contract worth it.  Hinrich is stuck with the task of filling in for Derrick Rose until his return, hopefully he'll do a decent job keeping them afloat until then.  In my opinion, after that he should start in place of Rip Hamilton but probably won't, unless Hamilton's old bones crumble or he gets injured in another way.  It may be best to bring him off the bench, though, for chemistry purposes and it puts some more talent into the second unit.

Bulls fans went crazy about John Lucas III last year.  He was a great spark plug off the bench, but was inexperienced and had plenty of weaknesses, like allowing Lebron to jump over him.
He's out of Chicago, now, but he's been replaced with another short dude.  This time it's one who's a little stronger and more experienced, though.  Nate Robinson is a fun dude to watch play the game.  He's a former Slam Dunk Champion and he's got a ring from his stint with the Celtics to replace Scalabrine's in the Bulls locker room.

Their post players coming off the bench should show to be an improvement, as well.  No matter how great anyone thought Omer Asik was, they shouldn't be saddened over Chicago letting him walk.  He's not worth what Houston gave him.  Nazr Mohammed should be better, at worst he will be on the same level that Asik was at, but with different strengths and weaknesses.   They also still have Taj Gibson coming off the bench, who is still improving.  I'm curious to see if they try to make some moves to keep him around or let him leave when his contract is up. 

They also lost Kyle Korver in the off season.  I like Korver, but all he can do is shoot.  And they got Marco Belinelli to take his place, and Belinelli can score in more ways than a set three pointer, and should show to be quite an upgrade. 

Bulls fans, this year you can really embrace your Bench Mob.  Even though Scalabrine is gone, these guys should give you plenty of reason to cheer.